August 14, 2012

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Removable Partial Dentures?

You can derive many benefits from replacing missing teeth with removable partials. Replacement teeth help fill out your smile by giving support to the cheeks and lips. Replacement teeth create a more youthful, vibrant appearance by holding up facial muscles and aiding in speaking, chewing, swallowing, and smiling.

An important benefit that removable partial dentures provide is that of maintaining teeth in position. When you have a full complement of teeth, each tooth serves to keep the others in position. The teeth touching each other prevents teeth from moving from side to side.  The teeth touching each other by opposing each other keeps them from extruding (basically keeps them from growing more into the mouth). 

When a tooth is extracted, the teeth on either side of the space start collapsing into the space.  When this happens the teeth tilt at an angle and this angle makes those teeth more susceptible to bone loss from gum disease.  The tooth opposite the extracted tooth site moves up or down into the space created by the missing tooth.  This can be so extreme that the tooth opposing the extraction site can touch the opposite gums, thus interfering with chewing.

A con to replacing missing teeth with removable partial dentures is that the partial denture is usually kept in place by metal hooks that go around the remaining teeth on either side of the extraction site.  These hooks act like forceps and slowly weaken the teeth holding the partial and many times lead to the slow extraction of the supporting teeth. The clasps also make the supporting teeth more susceptible to decay. Removable partials generally move in function, which means they are uncomfortable to chew with.

It’s best to rely on removable partials as a temporary solution to tooth loss if finances are insufficient to do the more stable replacement of missing teeth with dental implants.

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  1. Gained a lot of information about dental implants and partial dentures on this blog. Thank you for posting.

    Dentist Globe | Dentures Apache Junction

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  3. Personally, I don't mind the tradeoff between the pros and cons of partial dentures. Right now, I don't have the money to get implants, so these babies in my mouth is the way to go. Also, I totally agree with what you said about the advantages of partial dentures. These are not just made to keep your winning smile, but to make sure that your bones keep growing properly.

    Kent Davis @